Guest humor by David Middleton
It’s never too early to start Christmas (or whatever holiday) shopping and The Atlantic has some great gift ideas for the ‘Climate Hellscape’.
One of the things I love about The Atlantic is that they take themselves so seriously when writing utterly idiotic articles about all things climate-related. It really makes it much more fulfilling to ridicule their articles than those of The Grauniad, NatGeo and Science (as in she blinded me with)…
Gadgets for the Climate Hellscape
What will climate adaptation look like? A million individual products, each precisely targeted on social media to the intersection of a consumer culture and a catastrophe.
ALEXIS C. MADRIGAL
NOV 13, 2018
As the red sun hung in the smoke-filled air outside, as the exhaust from the Camp Fire swept over the Bay Area, I was inside, looking at my phone, like everyone else. I was dying to go running, but the air quality index numbers, and my own eyes and lungs, told me that I shouldn’t. So I was scrolling Instagram when it served me an ad for Vent Performance Filtration Breathing Trainer, from the company Training Mask—tagline: “Breathe Free, Breathe Strong.”
The mask looks like a cross between an S&M accessory and military kit, technical meets Mortal Kombat. The ad for it explicitly linked the wildfires with working out; It could save my lungs from the global warming-induced, record-setting California fire season—and in “performance filtration mode,” it could train my respiratory muscles at the same time. It’s personal environmental gear with a fitspo bonus, the perfect gadget for the climate hellscape.
Because scientists and insurance companies agree: The fires have been historically bad, but it’s gonna get worse. Even before the Camp Fire became the most destructive wildfire fire in California history, gutting more than 7,000 structures so far, my colleague Rob Meyer reported on the recent catastrophic fire seasons.“The worst wildfires—and the hottest summers, and the worst floods—are yet to come. And the only technologically proven way to keep them at bay is to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions,” Meyer wrote.
Here in California, in the wealthy tech-heavy region of the Bay, the fires offer a glimpse of an emerging form of disaster capitalism. Climate adaptation could look like a million individual products, each precisely targeted on social media to the intersection of a consumer culture and a catastrophe. As the environment weirds, people can reinterpret the problem as a personal, consumer one: “What do I need to survive the biosphere today?”
There is evidence that CO2-enriched air reduces human cognitive functioning. So we have personal CO2 scrubbers that could be marketed to the entrepreneur looking to get an edge, or that student trying to ace the ACT.
For the floods, there’s a personal inflatable life vest and raft combination. It was designed for offshore workers, but could easily be sold as a solution for areas new way to make oneself resilient to flooding.
This all sounds absurd of course, until you’re staring at a combo crossfit-wildfire ad on Instagram. The world of gadgets, the supply chains that brought us fidget spinners and hoverboards, will adapt, produce, and market for the coming climate catastrophes. The world isn’t going to grind to a halt. It will just become hard in new ways. Companies, then, will try to soften the edges of even the worst scenarios. There is a blog called The Prepper Gourmet, after all.
If I thought Mr. Madrigal was being sarcastic, I would call this article “brilliant”… I laughed my @$$ off all the way through it.
Christmas Gift ideas to help friends and family survive the ‘Climate Hellscape’
Here are a few Climate Hellscape gift ideas mentioned in the article…
I went to the website, and it looks pretty wimpy…
Why not just invest in a Scott Air Pack? That’s what real firefighters wear…
To survive the coming Climate Hellscape floods, they suggest this item…
Cobham’s Survivor+ personal overboard survival system is a new class of advanced PFD that incorporates both a SOLAS approved inflatable life jacket and raft into a single system worn as a vest for maximum readiness and survivability.
Drowning, hypothermia, and exposure to life threatening sea spray and frigid winds are always safety concerns for offshore workers. In the event of an overboard emergency, not every crewmember is able to reach a life raft in time. Cobham, recognizing this dangerous reality, developed a solution that makes a life raft instantly accessible to each individual. As a result, Cobham is excited to introduce its new Survivor+ personal overboard survival system, which does just that.
Designed for offshore operations
Ideally suited for crew on offshore operations, rigs, support vessels, and wind farm transfers, Survivor+ offers these distinguishing features:
- Life jacket and tethered raft worn as a vest
(Cobham’s vacuum packed raft technology)
- Activates automatically upon immersion
- Inflatable canopy with clear face shield and inflatable seat cushion for thermal protection
- Bailout sleeve
- Ballast bags for stabilization
- Strobe light for easy night detection and optional PLB
The first time I went offshore to rig, the Zapata Lexington in 1991, we weren’t running a helo, so I had to take the crew boat. I spent much of the three-hour boat ride from Port Fourchon out to the Mississippi Canyon location, wondering how you get from the crew boat up to the rig. Did they have a dock? An elevator?
Well, as we approached the rig, I saw the crane lift a basket with a couple of guys on it off the helipad (~100′ above the water) and lower it to the back deck of the boat. It’s called a Billy Pugh Basket…
The Schlumberger crew put their gear in the basket and grabbed on the the outside and it lifted them up to the helipad. Seeing that I did not have a life jacket, one of the righands handed me a work vest and said, “Put dis on.” (very Cajun accent). It looked like the vest on the right…
I put the vest on and cinched it up tight. As the Billy Pugh Basket landed back on the deck, the righand checked to make sure I had the vest secured. He tugged on it and said, “Dat be on upside down. No matter, da fall will kill ya.” The crane operator proceeded to lift me about 100′ above the helipad before setting me down.
The Zapata Lexington was a semi-submersible rig. Zapata was George H. W. Bush’s drilling company and linked by conspiracy theorists to all sorts of things. Most of Zapata’s semi’s shared names with famous aircraft carriers: Yorktown, Saratoga and Lexington. Although the fourth rig in the class was the Concord… So they were probably named after Revolutionary War battles.
Well that story has nothing to do with this thread… But the “Cobham’s Survivor+ personal overboard survival system” brought back “fond” memories. Thankfully due to technology and real-time data from offshore rigs, there’s rarely a need for geo’s to actually go offshore any more. But a decent offshore work vest might be a good stocking stuffer for those dealing with the Climate Hellscape.
Since it now appears that 400 ppmv can inhibit cognitive functions (might explain the journalists of The Atlantic), they suggest personal CO2 scrubbers…
Personal CO2 scrubbers have CO2 control in manned confinements as required for the crew’s health and safety. They also absorp CO2 from exhaled air by lithium hydroxide (LiOH), benefit more than conventional absorbers (e.g. soda-lime) with regards to weight and volume, and have more than 20 years of successful and safe operations of LiOH scrubber systems for
space flight and submarine applications.
- Exhalation through cartridge via mask, which can be adapted for customised application
- One set featuring a half mask with flexible tubing and a cartridge double pack
- Dimensions of Ø150mm / length 200mm per double pack
- Weight of 2.2kg per double pack
- Capacity of 200ltr CO2 per double pack minimum
- Shelf-life of two years
- Main applications are for underwater rescue and space
I would save money and buy the Apollo 13 DVD or Blu-ray…
And the following items
- The cover of a flight plan
- Two lithium hydroxide canisters
- A roll of Duct tape
- Two Liquid-Cooled Garment bags
- Two red suit hoses
- One sock
- One Bungee cord
Then follow these instructions:
The kids will love this gift!
At this point, I was convinced that Mr. Madrigal was being sarcastic. Then I finished reading the article…
None of this will save the planet. But for most people—from Micronesia to San Francisco—they’re just trying to get through the day, adapting to climate change’s effects with whatever is to hand, or browsable by thumb.
ALEXIS C. MADRIGAL is a staff writer at The Atlantic. He’s the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology.
Save the planet? Warning: Lots of F-bombs
Christmas gift ideas to help friends and family Realize that the ‘Climate Hellscape’ is nothing but bad science fiction
I personally plan to give my friends and family gifts that make them thankful for fossil fuels.
All of this…
Not only fuels the global economy and feeds half of the world… It also barely lifted us above “severe and sustained carbon starvation on glacial Juniperus trees at La Brea”…
And helped us avoid “The Ice Age Cometh?”…
How about a handy sea-level-rise-o-meter? It’s in both metric and American!
Or this official Gorebal Warming flashlight?
If at any point you were unsure if I was being sarcastic, I was.